(WMC-TV) - Less than six percent of Shelby County School District students are college ready, meaning 386 high school students out of 6,000 are prepared for success based on ACT assessments.
School board members heard the data during an all-day retreat Thursday with district leaders, during which a plan to reverse the trend was also revealed.
"Lets really shoot for the stars as far as where our kids can be learning and where our kids can achieve," said board chairman Kevin Woods.
The ambitious plan shoots to boost the district's graduation rate from the current 70 percent to 90 percent by the year 2025 and to make 80 percent of those graduates adequately prepared for college or careers.
The goals coincide in large part with Governor Bill Haslam's initiative, known as Drive to 55, that aims at bringing the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by 2025.
"It takes dollars to do that with only limited resources," said Woods. "It's a lofty goal, but it is one we're committed to doing."
District data shows graduates who are not college or career ready are more than 50 percent more likely to live in poverty and earn less than $25,000 per year.
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